randomania: photo style

I know christmas was like, a month ago…but I just couldn’t resist downloading a couple classics- from the real camera.  My dearest sister took most of these, because I’m too lazy to use my real camera anymore…but since I was downloading them to my computer I thought, why not throw a few up here too.  Memories.  Being at my parents home for christmas was delightful.  Perhaps someday I will put some really cool other pictures from our cross country trip and all that jazz.  don’t hold your breath tho.


this kid.  3/5 of all our trip photos are of him. love it.


can’t get a great photo of all 3… ever.


2/3 aint bad. no maya, this isn’t torture.


this kid will smile for every camera, all day.


cooking with grandma is their fav.


blurry…but teenage jos? w/ his fav socks.


showing off their new belly buttons to grandma.

not done yet.

There are some nights where i’m literally stopped in my tracks…headed to bed usually, when I get the urge to write.  Sometimes I say no, but some special moments I choose to forgo sleep and sit down in front of my computer.  I rarely waste a moment before opening the site I blog on…and never have to spend a second wondering what to write about.

It just comes.

I have an overwhelming feeling of excitement for our next kiddo.  This is a bit odd considering we just moved across the country and just this morning I got our second son’s school squared away.  I am on the eve of sending both boys back to school and it’s been almost a month and a half since I last dropped them both off to a classroom.  To say I’m relieved is an understatement…for all of us I believe.  The boys love school and I love that they get to go.  But it hit me tonight- what everyone always told me- the little years are special and they are few.

I get to be a mom.  I want to be the best one I can be.  I want to do this job better than I will ever do any job in the whole world…always growing, learning, adapting, stretching.  This move has created space in my mind to realize that I don’t have to do the same routines that I’ve always done.  I can make up new ways to get the same ol’ stuff done…and maybe I will even come to love homework time?!  I’m looking at miracles people.

But what really hit me tonight is that we’re not done.  We’ve known that all along, but as each passing year goes by sometimes I wonder about the when.  Yet I feel so confident that God will share that detail as I just keep following His beauty, His ways, His delight.  And I feel a joy rising in me for the next Farrell…however, whenever.  It’s gonna be good.

And no, in case you’re wondering- we have nothing brewing, no secret adoption match- we haven’t even done a california home study, so seriously- this is simply about my heart.  My goal this year was (is) simply to say yes and I’ve loved how it’s opened my mind up to endless possibilities already.

Yes incubates hope.

We need hope…in every single area of our lives. It breathes life into this journey we have the privilege to live.  I am so grateful that this year, 2017, I get to see everything in a whole new light simply because we said yes to a seemingly crazy idea that landed us on the opposite coast of our country…and right into everything Jesus has planned next.

It’s a beautiful life and I can’t wait to see what’s next.


thoughts that pop in my head.

Currently. I’m dizzy. I’m having ear problems, and if I stand or sit or move in any way for more than 2 seconds I get dizzy…and if I’m dizzy for very long I get nauseous.  Super helpful to daily life, or not.  This is just day 2.  I’m hoping its the end.

In other news- we have one kid in school!  Hallelujah!  Josiah is loving being back in first grade and Regan is dying to get back to a desk too.  They have to be in different schools due to the pre-k being full at Jos’s school, so I am dragging my feet to get Regs registered…and hoping miraculously I’ll get a call that says there’s an opening.  Ha.

Just found out I have to take a test to get a California license…so I may not do that for awhile.  Confession: when I lived here 13 years ago, I never got a Cali license or new plates. I’ll be okay.

I won a giveaway today!  Second time in my life…and both times have been amazing.  One of my favorite artists Lindsay Letters gave away a free canvas…so I chose the most amazing black and white flowered giant canvas.  I’ve wanted some larger art of hers forever, and for christmas my parents generously gifted me a canvas with one of my favorite verses on it (Psalm 27:4) and then a few weeks later, I win a free one too!?!  It definitely made this dreary (because of the rain) and dizzy (because of my ear) day A LOT better.

It snowed here on Saturday- which apparently doesn’t happen very often.  Our movers laughed when they unloaded the snow shovel from our moving truck…but then, heck a week later- it snowed.  Of course, it only lasted the day but seeing snow on a cactus is a bit trippy.  And I’m actually super thankful that snow isn’t a regular occurrence.  I only like the initial snowed-in excitement for about a day and then since I freak out when driving in it, it’s not all that great to live with.  Alas.

We went to church on sunday- first time at bethel- and it was awesome!  I’m sure it would have been better had my ear not been draining and dealing with partial deafness…but so glad we made it. It’s big but I have hope that we will find out place.

No job for Barty yet, pray!  He did don a suit for the first time in forever on Monday and dropped in on some banks and other businesses hoping to make some connections, so we’re just trusting that his job will show up.  Soon would be nice.

I’m getting used to the reusable bag situation (as I previously posted about) and I actually think it makes me buy less.  For now.  Rediscovering Tillamook ice cream, because it’s always been the best.  Truly.  We’ve tried two chinese deliveries so far and one was definitely better than the other…haven’t found good pizza yet.

Only looking at two boxes left to unpack and they are nonessential, which is why I keep staring at them instead of opening them.

Also discovered that living in the middle of nowhere Northern Cali means online shopping deliveries take so. much. longer.  You know when the shipping says 4-9 business days?  Well…in NJ (obviously we lived very close to major cities, etc..) it would only ever take 4 days, sometimes even less.  Here…it’s like pushing 9 days and possibly longer.  Bizarre!  I guess I gotta get used to it.  And I shouldn’t be online shopping anyway these days..

Maya has been wearing her newest Cinderella dress (thanks uncle aaron/aunt erika) for the last 2 weeks religiously.  Sometimes I can get other clothes underneath, but mostly it’s just an itchy tulle blue gown that she trounces around in…naps included.  So, she hasn’t lost her princess ways- east coast, west coast- doesn’t matter.

Well alright. My sitting limit has been reached.  I’m so dizzy I am kinda seeing double.


reusable bags for days.

I realize I’ve been MIA for a bit, and while I promise to do a real re-cap of the craziest month ever, I’m a little busy shopping online for reusable bags.  Dude.  I used to be sorta good at bringing my reusable grocery bags to stores that cared…like Whole Foods or Trader Joes…but I didn’t remember to return them to the car and thus- never used them regularly.  So- imagine my surprise when I show up to each and every store today without bags and get charged 10 cents a bag.  These Californians are serious about their environment.  But instead of vowing to remember the 4 bags I do own, my amazon cart is now filled with thirteen bags instead.  This ensures that I’ll never be without.  I hope.  I told my sister that I might need to buy a bigger purse to hold all my bags.  Sheesh.

Anyway…in case you hadn’t figured it out…we are in California now!  Our little rental is awesome- I literally found it on Craigslist last month and we signed a rental agreement sight unseen, so to say I was anxious to see it is kinda an understatement.  I was so relieved once we walked through it and realized a) not a scam b) bigger than the photos c) great neighborhood d) not a scam. PHEW.  Plus the best part is that I have my very own cactus in the backyard that is taller than me.  I never knew that was a dream in my heart, but it was. I’m in love.  Oh and the fridge is that new magnetic stainless steel…which is making me so happy because I can finally use my sticky9 magnetic pics again.  It’s the little things, people.

Today the cashier asked me what my new years eve plans were and I asked him when it was.  Suffice to say, I have no idea the days that are going by at this point in time.  All I know is that last night was the first night I got to sleep in my own bed in 3 weeks, and it felt SO RIGHT.  Originally we were supposed to still be up in WA, after flying down here for two days to move in…but on a whim very late Monday night we decided to skip the flying and just head down with the whole gang.  I’m very very glad we did it, for many many reasons that I might explain later.  But it kinda feels like this is extra time, that I didn’t think I’d have here anyway, so it’s like, free or something?  I’m a little delirious.  But the kitchen is unpacked, so all’s well.

I can’t seem to find most of my decor, so I’m half debating whether I should embrace the minimalist look…and by that I mean, I’m gonna find the closest nursery and go spend all the $ I’m saving on plastic grocery bags, on plants.  I kinda want to turn over a new leaf (ha!) and become a green thumb.  Somehow it seems more doable here on the west coast.

The weirdest thing is being in the same time zone as my family.  That hasn’t happened in 11 years.  It also means I’m apologizing upfront to all my east coast friends, as I have not managed to remember the time zone difference yet.  Oops.

Today Regan said “hey mom, there’s no upstairs here.  I like it.”  Then proceeds to forget where his bedroom is.  I love the ranch style…it’s amazing to say goodbye to stairs for awhile, but I will say we’re all pretty close to one another.  Ha.  I will also admit that next to our bed in the master bedroom, sits a giant printer…which is next to our treadmill.  It’s totally feng shui.  (ps. did not know thats how that was spelled until just now)  There’s also a dresser in our living room, just for fun…and I might paint our piano a pretty dark green/blue.  My motto: in a rental, anything goes.

Okay, now I’m really rambling.  I promise a trip post soon.  It was grand.

Peace out from Redding.

a little better lamenting

So, I’m lamenting again.  Only it looks a little different…a dear friend who knew my Christmas woes brought over a delicious candle today that has me dreaming of fresh pine Christmas trees so for the past half hour I’ve been buying new Christmas songs on iTunes for my collection and perusing my favorite home decor websites and filling fake carts with Christmas decor.  Phew.  That was a long run-on sentence with lots of Christmas.  It makes me happy though, so sorry mom.

If I can’t decorate, I will pretend to do it in my head.  I did break down and pull out a few strands of lights for the mantle and stole borrowed one of the decorations I bought for my friend (but haven’t given to her yet).  So, we have a little Christmas cheer…and that makes me smile.

It’s just plain weird to see everyone put their tree up and hang stockings and transform their homes into cozy reds and greens…and not do it myself.  I’m ready to be transported to my parent’s home right now- where I can stare at a Christmas tree while drinking Starbucks Christmas blend coffee in the dusk.  But we have 10 days before we leave NJ, and then another week on the road to get there.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I just keep repeating that to myself.

And as a follow up…I did get the kiddos Christmas jammies, and I’m even working on a christmas postcard that may or may not get finished. So it’s not as dismal as it sounds.  I’m thinking of buying myself lots of Christmas presents too. hehehe.  In other news- we are past all the hard parts of our house sale, so it looks like it’s gonna go through!  I am about 5/8 done with packing the house so we are right on schedule…or at least the fake schedule in my head.  My goal is to be almost all done by next Wednesday- which happens to be my 37th birthday.  We shall see.

So, put up a Christmas decoration for me…add another strand of lights to a shelf and take a picture for me.  I’ll just be here, listening to my new *Christmas tunes.


*I got a few songs from new albums from Pentatonix, Josh Garrels, She & Him, Lauren Daigle and Sarah McLachlan…random but delightful!

the one where i lament

Just let me have this one sad post because I have to essentially skip Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong; once we get to my parents it will be wonderful and for a week I’ll get to enjoy the smells and memory-making and the cozy…but here, in my own house…notsomuch.  Normally I’d be gearing up to make the big switch next week- from fall to christmas in all its glory but instead, I am creating brown box towers and unveiling very white bare walls filled with nail holes and sad faces.

Ok, I know, it’s not that bad but a little lamenting is what I need.  I played Christmas music yesterday, much to my husband’s chagrin.  It was November 14, probably the earliest I’ve ever played a carol but it was necessary.  I ordered my favorite christmas candle  (the red one) and had it sent to my parent’s house so when I get there I can drink in the scent and listen to it crackle…which might make up for the hours upon hours I’m going to spend in a van instead of in a beautifully decorated house filled with Christmas.  But I doubt it.  It’s probably not safe to burn a candle in the car, right?  I might sneak a pine wreath in the back so at least I’ll have one reminder of the season.  It’ll be worth the husband’s eye roll.

Don’t get me wrong- I am not questioning our decision to move in any way.  But the timing is sad.  I don’t think I’ve ever skipped Christmas like this before.  No christmas cards, no advent calendar, probably not even christmas jammies… and yes, as I type this I realize I could make all of this happen, but alas.  I lament.  And yes, I know- Jesus is the reason for the season so none of the rest matters, but I just L O V E all things christmas so much.  It’s literally the best time of the year- my birthday, Jesus’ birthday…it’s grand.

As an aside- if you have ever taken a week-long road trip with small children and have any tips: please tell me everything.  No ‘good lucks’ and ‘so glad it’s not me’… just good ol’ fashion advice, tips, tricks.  We’ll also have our dog. ha!  Merry Christmas to me.

Okay, lamenting over for now.  I’m gonna go play some more Christmas music.

a contract and a birthday

So, I am currently standing to type this, because I accidentally sold our computer desk a little quick.  Not that I’m complaining…I’m trying to get rid of as much as possible mostly because I’m the one that will be packing it all.  (this is my choice tho- bc I love it and I’m good at it hehe)

Anyway, it’s my only daughter’s birthday today and traditionally I would post a delightfully loving flow of words about her personality and quirks and accomplishments and how I cannot believe she’s 3, etc, etc etc.  But I hate to rush a post like that, so it will happen soon…maybe during our drive across the entire USA next month.

We went under contract on our house yesterday!  Yep, crazy right?  We listed it last Tuesday night and the next day we had one showing, followed by 2 the day after that.  Then crickets.  We were so hopeful but as the weekend passed our smiles got a little droopy until Monday came, and we received an offer!!!  So Lord willing, our house sold in less than a week this time!  Pray for all the details- because obviously anything can during the next 30 days but we are trusting Him and moving forward as though we will be closing December 10.

This Saturday is my first garage sale ever…which should be hilarious bc basically I am pricing everything at 25 cents and might even beg people to just take stuff away.  And tho I’m staring at a mountain of pricing/organizing to do tomorrow, I’m hopeful that it will make the packing up process that much less time consuming.

Ok. This was basically stream of conscious as I’m standing at the computer and so I’m ending this…